Manteca has a problem with arson. The latest building torched was an old warehouse on North Main Street.
“The flames were going up above when it got going, but they were right there with the big ladder truck, shooting down into the fire,” said John hull, who lives next door to the warehouse.
In a picture taken by a Manteca Ambulance crewman, you can see the flames rose dozens of feet above the warehouse.
If it were just a question of money, that would be and enough. The estimated loss in the fire was $500,000, but the building was set to be torn-down anyway. Caltrans owns it, and they’re planning to build a highway interchange where it stands.
But more pressing the those plans, and the cost of the building destroyed, is the safety of firefighters and the safety of next door neighbors like John Hull.
“They are certainly well trained and they know what they’re doing. So our best thing was to stay out of their way,” Hull said.
Hull says transient and thieves had been making their home in the warehouse for quite some time. And had been making off with the roof and other valuable parts of the building.
Fire investigators are still trying to figure out if one of those people set the blaze accidentally, or if this was just another in the string of arson fires Manteca has seen over the past several months.